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how to be snowed in, part 3

I believe the next item on the snowed-in list was read a book.  I have had a lifelong obsession with craft books, and I thought I’d share a few winners with you all here.  There’s something about reading about doing stuff that is at least as fun as doing stuff…

Retro Revamp image courtesy of Chronicle Books.

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how to be snowed in, part 2

I got a totally sweet cookbook for Xmas and my family got a lot of oranges from various Floridian relatives.  So, I looked up funky orange recipes and decided to make this gem, mostly because I knew the odd combination meant that I’d get to eat all of it.  Also, I think I had just been shoveling or something, because I was STARVING.  As in, hungry enough to eat oranges and olives (but really, you should try it!). So, without further ado, funky orange salad (courtesy of Amanda Hesser) and funky orange salad variation:


spicy orange and olive salad

who knew?


1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

3 T olive oil

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp minced garlic (one clove, or dried works well)

3 navel oranges

12 black olives

salt and black pepper (what other kind of pepper is there?)

1.  In salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, cayenne, garlic, and paprika.

2.  Peel and section the oranges.  I despise pith, so I used 4 navel oranges and cut them like this:

  • Slice off the top and bottom so that the orange can stand flat on a countertop.
  • Holding the orange flat on the countertop, slice off the peel in smooth cuts down the side.  You may take some orange off with the peel, but you will get rid of the pith.
  • Once all the peel is removed, flip over and trim off any peel still stuck on the other end.
  • Hold the orange sideways and slide the knife between one section and the skin/pith between sections.  Then, cut the section out.  Rotate the orange and cut out each section this way, leaving behind the skins in an empty orange-shaped husk.
  • You are done.  It is worth the trouble, but only if you hate pith as much as I do.

3.  Put the orange sections and black olives in the salad bowl and toss with dressing.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper (the black pepper is clutch).

Variation:  for those who cannot bring themselves to buy cayenne and paprika, or serve oranges and olives to guests.

1.  Omit paprika and cayenne.  Replace with hot pepper flakes (you know, the kind you sprinkle on pizza.  Those are worth purchasing.  You might make pizza, right?).  Omit black olives.

2.  Follow steps 2-3 above.

Shazam!  You have a tasty, slightly odd, definitely interesting treat.  And it’s full of vitamin C!

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how to be snowed in, part 1

Polymer clay should really be resurrected.  It’s fun to make miniature stuff, right?  And then you can put little tchochkes all over your apartment for your roommates to find.

miniature fish with big eyeballs

don't you love blowfish?

Here’s how to make a blowfish:

1.  Roll a small round ball of clay.

2.  Make wings/flippers by pinching a teardrop shape.  Attach one to each side.

3.  Make a blowhole mouth:  a tiny ring of clay, or a flattened circle with a hole poked with a toothpick.  Attach to the front of the body.

4.  Make eyeballs:  flatten 2 small white circles and add two small black dots.  Adhere above mouth.

5.  Add a tail.  This one came out looking a little birdlike, so I’ll leave you on your own for that one.

6.  Bake on tinfoil at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  WATCH CAREFULLY.  If it starts smelling like toasted plastic, take it out.

After the fish, there was an adventure in miniature food:

Posing with fish, we have ice pops, ice cream sandwich, and s’more.  Nothing like imagining a cookout as you sit on your living room floor

ice pops, a s'more, and an ice cream sandwich


watching the street not get plowed.

To make the ice cream sandwich and s’more:

1.  Flatten two rectangles of brown, flavored to taste.

2.  Flatten a rectangle of white for ice cream, and two smaller rectangles of white for marshmallows.

2.5.  Flatten a square of chocolate for the s’more.

3.  Adhere in sandwich order.  Score the graham cracker to look like a graham cracker with toothpick.  Do the same for the ice cream sandwich.  This step is important.  Otherwise, your sandwiches will look like little dull brown rectangles.

4.  Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes.  Mine started burning at 7.

For the ice pops, break a toothpick in half and roll some swirled clay around them.  For these, I used orange, pink and white.  Stick together and bake with the other miniature food.

I got all of these fannntastic food-making ideas courtesy of this Klutz book.  Side note:  if Klutz ever offers me a job, I will take it.

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and now back to our regularly scheduled program

Bonjour, internet!  That hiatus turned out to be longer than expected.  Great news, crafting is back in full force!

People get snowed in in Iceland all the time

This happens all the time in Iceland

For starters, here are some crafty ideas in case you’re snowed in and going stir crazy:

  • Remember polymer clay?  Make miniature thingies.  I bet you still have that Klutz book… If not, dig up some other old craft kit you have lying around from 5th grade (latch hook rug, anyone?).
  • Make something with all those oranges your relatives in FL sent you.  How about orange salad?
  • Read a book, read a book, read a….book.
  • Plan a menu for a future dinner party.
  • Go x-c skiing.  Alternatively, stomp around in the snow.  This is good for when the walls start to close in.

In fact, I did all these things.  And when I get back to my camera I will give you all the dets.  Until then, stay warm!

Photo courtesy of E01.  Thank you, Flickr!

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God knows I love Xmas.  I start listening to carols on Nov. 1 and if I could get into it, I would make presents year round (no, I wouldn’t.  I have never planned that far ahead in my life).  Here is a smattering of quality gift links:

an awesome free xmas ebook

garland and I don’t usually like this kind of thing

SO MANY HANDMADE GIFT IDEAS it’s almost sewing overload

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holy sh*t, germany

why are you so awesome?

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who doesn’t love xmas cards

Or holiday cards, if you will.  I will.  I love them all, especially these.

And these.

And this mostly unrelated bird print.  I would also love it in card form.  Someone please make this for me; I do not have a letter press.  I don’t even actually really know what a letter press is.  Or if it should be one word:  letterpress.